Tasting of the special menu for the official tour participants @Jean-Georges Tokyo

2018 TRIENNALEPosted : June 30, 2018

We held a tasting event for media contacts at Jean-Georges Tokyo in Roppongi on Monday 25 June 2018. A special menu produced exclusively for the official guided tour participants by chef, Fumio Yonezawa is five-course meal which offers unique culinary experience of a collaboration between traditional local cuisine and exquisite Michelin-star chef.

The course meal started with “French cold soup”. “Cold soup” or “hiyajiru” is a long-appreciated traditional local cuisine made of miso and dejiru (soup stock) which had been added to this meal with French twist. Taste of smooth olive oil and crunchy texture of cucumber with soft aroma from sesame and shiso leaf is perfect starter for a meal in the peak of summer.

The course was followed by a main, “Tsumari pork with miso butter sauce, marinade fukinoto on side”. The meat slowly aged was flavourful, even its fatty part. Tsumari Pork is grown on a special feed grains, not using antibiotics. The special butter-based sauce was made from miso traditionally made in the local area called Matsudai mixed with fukinoto, one of the mountain vegetables. A distinctive flavour of fukinoto picked up in spring dominate your mouth as you eat the pork.

What came with the main was “tanada govan” (rice grown in terraced rice field. Echigo-Tsumari is known for its beautiful landscape of terraced rice field. Rice carefully grown in such field are one of the local delicacies of Niigata.

The course meal completed with a desert “Hakkaisan Amaze ice-cream”. It was made from amaze (a sweet drink made from fermented rice) local Japanese sake “Hakkaisan” without using white sugar. Jam on side made of mulberry and other berries are of course locally grown products.

The occasion was for participating press and media people to enjoy talk as they taste the meal. The talk was kicked off by a moderator of the day, one of the ETAT official supporters, Tomohisa Yamano from asoview.

The first session welcomed Yonezawa, the chef and Rina Tanaka, a fashion model who is also an official supporter of ETAT. She loved the ETAT before she was appointed as an official supporter and she visits Echigo-Tsumari ever more often in recent years. “Echigo-Tsumari always surprises me. It is like a place you go for a treasure hunting. I even didn’t realise until I arrive at Echigo-Yuzawa station!”. She said that its relatively close distance from Tokyo is one of the many attractions of Echigo-Tsumari.

Then they focused on food and meal. “I would like to eat something good to my body” - Tanaka is very good at cooking and she even makes her own miso at home. She also likes to think about what to cook and eat.

“I have been visiting Echigo-Tsumari for long time now but this will be my fist time to experience the Triennale. Everything I see in Echigo-Tsumari is a main dish. I am sure I will feel very content when returning home. I would like everyone to enjoy the excitement you will feel as you sent out for Echigo-Tsumari.”

The stay-overnight tour is planned in collaboration with Yonezawa chef and Tanaka which include picking up vegetables together, joining cooking and of course experiencing artworks. You can book your seat with this tour through a cloud funding platform, Makuake.

The talk was followed by a dialogue between Yonezawa chef and Fram Kitagawa, General Director of the festival. They began talking about the distinctive features of Echigo-Tsumari, touching on culture and people living there and exploring the relations between art and cities through direct experiences that Yonezawa and Yamano have had as they have engaged with Echigo-Tsumari.

When they featured “food”, Yonezawa she agreed with the concept of “food is art”. He believes that why Japanese people have good sense of taste is because of the culinary culture of Japanese food. He was impressed by how people in Echigo-Tsumari have long passed on traditional local food culture by attending carefully to meals they eat everyday and told that that was the reason why he decided to engage with ETAT. His favourite art is “terraced rice field in Hoshitoge village”. It is an artwork showing different faces in different seasons which he really wants many people to see.

”I work differently in Echigo-Tsumari from when I work in the restaurant. I very much look forward to cooking together and eating together.” You may like to visit ETAT official website and book your seat as the limited menu will only be available for the official tour participants.


◆Official guided tour: Satoyama and civil engineering course (Antelope course)
The tour begins with visit to the renovated Kiyotsukyo Keikoku Tunnel followed by newly created artworks for ETAT2018. The special lunch will be served only for the participants in this guided tour.
Visiting artworks (tbc):Kiyotsukyo Tunnel, Isobe Yukihisa Memorial Echigo-Tsumari Kiyotsu Soko Museum of Art, Terraced rice field in Hoshitoge Village, Shedding House, artworks on Matsudai Shopping Street, Matsudai Nohbutai, Echigo-Tsumari Satoyama Museum of Contemporary Art, KINARE and more
Click ≫here

for the tour details.

photo by Mikihiko Johara

◆Jean-Georges Tokyo
Tokyo branch of Jean-Georges Vongerichten in New York, one of the best restaurants in the world which receives Michelin three-stars for ten consecutive years. It stands on Keyaki-dori in Roppongi Hills offering like-no-other culinary experience which you will remember for long time.

Photos by Mikihiko Johara / courtesy to asoview